Edward cringed at the squeak of the opening cellar door and the accompanying dry rasping scratches of his wife's footsteps. Her soulweight, for it could be nothing else since she weighed so little, made the wooden makeshift stairs creak.
He set down his collector's edition of the Fellowship of the Ring and turned to catch her flouncing the last few steps toward him.
"Is my little dove hiding from me?" She reached out with a hand, blackened from the smudged newsprint. Other parts, especially the photo of him and her that had been run in the obituary molded just a little off center over her left breast, weren't as smudged.
He rubbed his forehead to keep the migraine away. Whether it was some allergy he'd developed to newsprint or just her fiery temper, he didn't know. But, it would be better not to answer her question. "Were you looking for me?"
She tiptoed to look over his shoulder. "Books. Should I be jealous?"
She didn't wait for an answer, but pulled him from the bench. Her newspaper dreadlocks brushed against him. He'd managed to capture her body so well, but it turned out hair was something that couldn't be rendered from the cut out stories of the serial killing. He missed the texture of her mid-shoulder blonde strands.
She raised an eyebrow and licked a lip in the way that he'd found so attractive when they had met on the blind date. But after marriage it had disappeared. Until he'd raised her. The newspaper had kindled a passion horny teenaged boys yearned for in their dreams. Unfortunately, dreams skimmed over inconvenient facts.
"I need a man to fill my bed." The dark empty pits of her eyes crinkled. "And other things."
He squirmed to escape her arms. Passion led to only one thing. Papercuts. "I can't."
"But, I need you."
He grabbed his copy of the Fellowship of the Rings and held it between them like a shield. The sacrifice had been difficult to contemplate before she'd descended the stairs, but her presence made the decision easy.
"The book is useless to me," she said.
"Not useless." He tried to stifle the jealousy from his voice but knew he'd failed. She'd never read the book, but had loved Viggo Mortensen on the silver screen. "I can make another one, like you." Aragorn had been his favorite character in the books, but he wouldn't think of the man the same after molding him into life.